Charities

Shocking drowning statistics in Dorset

Drowning Prevention Week 2020

Dorset has the 6th highest drowning fatality rate in the country, where more than 70 individuals have died from drowning in the past five years.

As it happens, 12th to 19th June is Drowning Prevention Week, a campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK, who raise awareness of the dangers of drowning up ahead of the summer holidays.

It’s vital that individuals and families are aware of the risk, whether they go swimming or perform other water sports, and irrelevant of whether this is in the ocean, a lake, river or swimming pool.

Drowning destroys families and devastates communities.

Every year, we see a tragic amount of preventable deaths as people flock to open water sites that are not suitable for swimming. It may seem an inviting way to cool off, but there are very real and very deadly dangers at these sites, such as extremely cold water, uneven depths and hidden debris that people can get injured on or caught in.

Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning than from being hit by a car or in a fire.

We believe that the majority of drowning incidents can be prevented and urge people to swim where it’s safe.

Don’t take unnecessary risks.

Robert Gofton, CEO of RLSS UK

Around 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year and the charity aims to prevent drowning and promote water safety education through campaigns and its lifesaving programmes.

The impact of COVID-19 has already seen emergency services additionally stretched; with beach
lifeguard patrols restrained water safety skills, and a common sense approach to being around
water, have never been more necessary.

RLSS UK, the Charity who aims to help everybody enjoy the water, safely, fears that a mix of the
warm weather, coupled with more people travelling and the reduced supervision around water,
could lead to summer tragedies.

Drowning Prevention Week was launched by RLSS UK seven years ago; it is a week of national
awareness-raising campaigning that encourages parents, schools, leisure centres, community groups
and businesses, to use the FREE resources and teach their local communities how to enjoy the
water, safely.

To access RLSS UK’s resources and start enjoying your water safety journey, visit the RLSS UK’s
website: rlss.org.uk/drowning-prevention-week

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